Two months after mysteriously and abruptly walking away from American Idol, Kenedi Anderson has graduated from high school. And she’s happily kissing her scholastic days goodbye.
“No more school for meee hehehe #graduation,” the 18-year-old singing sensation captioned alongside a carousel of photos where she dons a blue cap and gown as she poses with friends.
The major milestone came exactly eight weeks after American Idol host Ryan Seacrest broke the news that Kenedi Anderson was leaving the reality TV competition—despite being the projected winner.
“You might have noticed that there was no voting information during Kenedi’s performance just now,” he said during the April 11th episode. “Since we taped these shows in Hawaii earlier, Kenedi has decided to withdraw from our show for personal reasons. We send her well wishes.”
The singer never clarified what those reasons were. But in her own announcement, Anderson explained that making the decision to withdraw from the competition was “the hardest” that she “ever” had to make. And she knew the choice was “necessary.”
“I’m so grateful to American Idol, the judges, the producers, the amazing contestants, and all the fans who have supported me,” she added. “Thank you for giving me such an amazing opportunity to share my voice, chase my dreams, feel so much joy and happiness doing what I love, and make lifelong friends along the way.”
Kenedi Anderson Still Singing After Walking Away From ‘American Idol’
Judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie were heartbroken to see the teen give up her chance at becoming the season 20 winner. But they still wished her well after she left.
From the start, Anderson was perhaps the most successful singer on the show. Her rendition of Lady Gaga’s Applause earned her a platinum ticket to Hollywood and a “Hallelujah!” from Richie. And every song she sang thereafter came with heaps of praise.
“You don’t understand. We can sit here all day long and sing songs. But we are looking for the next ‘thing’ in the music business,” Richie gushed after one performance. “You have graced us because of your voice, your look, your sound, if that’s 17 years old, congratulations. You’ve answered all of our prayers.”
Thankfully, Kenedi Anderson’s American Idol exit was not a choice to quit singing altogether, though. Shortly after her last episode, the teen wrote and released a new song. And now that she’s officially a high school grad, we look forward to seeing her make a full-time career out of her passion.